MNSU to hold emergency preparedness drill Wednesday, Sept. 19

Maira Ly
News Editor

Minnesota State University, Mankato will be holding an emergency preparedness drill in collaboration with local public safety units across Mankato. 

The drill will be on Wednesday, Sept. 18 from 12-3 p.m. on the west lawn of the Performing Arts building along Ellis Avenue North. 

Ellis Avenue North will be closed to traffic from 10 a.m-3 p.m. The Performing Arts lawn will also be closed and students will not be allowed to go through or enter that area during the drill. 

Loren Jansen, emergency manager of the University Security, said, “People can observe and watch, but we don’t want anybody who is not part of the drill and part of that responding unit to impede on what’s going on.”

Along with the university, the cities of Mankato public safety, North Mankato police, Blue Earth County Sheriff deputies, Mayo Clinic Health System and Mayo Clinic Ambulance Service will be participants in this exercise. 

David Jones, vice president for Student Affairs and enrollment management, said in a press release, “Conducting this emergency response practice exercise is part of the University’s proactive commitment to creating a safe and secure environment on our campus.”

He continued, “Emergencies can occur at any time without warning, and partnering on this training exercise with other community organizations allows us to increase awareness of our emergency preparedness as well as assess our current capabilities.”

The drill scenario includes a van ramming into a crowd of people, injuring many. About 25 of the victims are going to be transported to the hospital. 

Volunteer victims include students, staff and faculty, and community members. Before the official start of the drill each will have fake injuries applied with special effects based on the Mayo Clinic Health systems needs and criteria for training. 

Jansen says, “Some people will be dead on arrival, there’ll be some who are walking and wounded, and then there will be some severe internal injuries, broken legs, and a variety of issues.”

Star Alert messages will be sent an hour prior to the drill and at the time of the drill to remind students that it is not a real situation and to stay clear of the area. 

Jansen said, “It’s been quite a few years since the campus has had an exercise drill like this, and it’s a full scale exercise and it’s just a good opportunity for the campus to evaluate where they are sitting as far as our campus response to our community stakeholders and how we work with others.”

Header photo from Reporter Archives.

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